By Josh Grant, Sun Correspondent
ENGLEWOOD — Showing no worse for wear after Tuesday night’s physical victory over Ida Baker, Lemon Bay’s boys basketball team came out fast and furious Wednesday night against Gateway Charter.
Sophomore center Hayden Wolff continued his solid play with a career-high, 25 points and 11 rebounds in a 72-43 non-district win over the Griffins.
Wolff was dominant yet again, finishing 12-for-17 from the field, including 6 of-9 in the first quarter when he outscored the entire Gateway Charter team, 13-7.
In fact, Wolff continued to outscore the Griffins the majority of the first half until he came out for a well-deserved break midway through the second quarter.
“We’re working together as a team and working on getting the ball in the post,” Wolff said. “I’ve been lucky enough for my teammates to keep on feeding me along with Tyler Caron. We’re just working together, crashing the boards and clicking right now at the perfect time.”
To continue the theme of staying hot, senior guard Jake Comer continued with the hot hand from 3-point range, going 4 of 5 on the way to 14 points.
“It was a day after a tough game and the kids played great,” Lemon Bay coach Sean Huber said. “I thought our energy level throughout the game was great.”
Without starting point guard Cade Huber, who was recovering from an eye injury suffered in Tuesday night’s win, Mike Reid took charge of the offense. While the junior didn’t score, he had seven assists and led the defensive charge.
“(Reid) did a great job running the show tonight,” Huber said. “It just goes to show how deep we are.”
“We can do a lot of different things. If they want to play fast, we can play fast. If they want to play slow, we can slow it down. If they want to shoot from the outside, we can shoot it. If they want to throw it in the post, we can do that, too. We can pretty much take it wherever anyone wants to take it, offensively.”
Lemon Bay currently sits in the fourth position in the 7A-10 standings, which means that the Manta Rays may host a home playoff game in the first round of the tournament.
The Manta Rays’ likely opponent will be North Ft. Myers, whom they have split the season-series with; a 68-57 win on 12/9 and a
69-67 loss on 1/20.
Not to get ahead of itself, Lemon Bay (14-8) is 7-3 in its last 10 games, and has one final district test coming up on Friday at Port Charlotte. While the rivalry matchup doesn’t bear any weight on the 7A-10 stands, county pride is on the line and important bragging rights heading into the postseason.
“This is the best team I’ve had at this point in the season from a depth standpoint,” Huber said. “Maybe not as much from an experience standpoint when I had guys like Vince Kisiday, Matt Mages and Joe Wojcik. Those guys played a lot of basketball together in our system for a long time. But they weren’t as deep as we are with this group.”
LEMON BAY 72, GATEWAY CHARTER 43
Gateway Charter 7 10 16 10 — 43: Malaki Shaw 11, Princivil 8, Rene 6, Ford 6, Farrado 5, Wang 3, Thegu 2, Claude 2. Totals: 17 (5) 4-5.
Lemon Bay 18 17 21 16 — 72: Hayden Wolff 25, Comer 14, Morrill 8, Wyman 8, Caron 7, Yale 4, Gomez 4, Bottenfield 2. Totals: 30 (7) 5-8.